Jan – May 2015 | New Year…New Creative Writing Contests (No Entry Fee)

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TIP: Start Submitting Your Writing

Now that the holiday celebrations are over, it is time to pull our completed and almost completed works and prepare to enter the many creative writing contests happening in 2015.  To get you started, we’ve provided you with a quick list:

  • Nelson Algren Short Story Contest (multiple opportunities to win 2nd & 3rd place)
  • Genre(s): Fiction
  • Prize(s): $3,500 (1st); $1,000 (2nd); $500 (3rd)
  • Deadline: Jan. 31, 2015



Remember, these contests have NO entry fee.

So, you have NO excuses not to enter.

Happy Writing!


Cicada YA Magazine Wants “Your Dark Weird Truths”

Image from Cicada. Click to learn about their current issue.

Artsy, gritty, angsty, “lyric and strange” are apt words to describe Cicada, a young adult literary and comic subscription-based online magazine.  Cicada welcomes work that “speaks to teens’ truths” and encourages both adult and teens to submit.  They are also linked to Creative Endeavors and accept submissions from writers, ages 14-23, for their Erasure poems (visit website for more details).

Writers who enjoy “dark humor and Viking jokes” are particularly encouraged to apply.  If you have never tried your hand at either, now might be the time to experiment.

“There’s room in the world for your dark weird truths.” Associate editor Anna Neher on what Cicada wants.

They accept submissions via Submittable.

 List of Cicada’s Favorite Authors

You can find Cicada on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook.

Happy Writing!

30 Dec 2014 | The Culture Trip Award (No Fee Nonfiction Contest)

Image from The Culture Trip. Click image to visit site.

Interested in journalism and travel writing?  Global website The Culture Trip will award a $3,000 prize to the first place winner of their The Culture Trip Prize competition to write a culture-related article that receives the most readers.  Entrants must be current or recent students of an undergraduate or graduate program.

The Prize:

• USD $3,000 for the most-read article
• USD $2,000 for the second most-read article
• USD $1,000 for the third most-read article
• Honourable mentions on social media for the 10 most-read articles

Submission Process:

• Send an email to award@theculturetrip.com asap and no later than December 30, 2014, with ‘Trial article – topic request’ in the subject line, to receive your allocated title for an initial trial article
• Receive your trial article topic within 10 working days
• Submit your trial article no later than January 30, 2015


Visit The Culture Trip for more details.

Good Luck & Happy Writing!


08 Oct 2014 | Literature + Rome = Suddenly Every Wednesday!

Suddenly Every Wednesday describes itself as a “little group that meets.”  In reality it is a welcoming space for the literary-minded, whether creator or appreciator.  From students to professors to the general public, Suddenly Every Wednesday invites all to participate in sharing their love of literature and creativity.

So, if you are in Rome and wondering what to do this Wednesday, well why not head over to Trastevere and join Suddenly Every Wednesday at the Garbo Bar.

Time: 22.00 (10:00PM) | Location: Garbo Bar, Vicolo Santa Margherita, 1, Trastevere

Look out for the upcoming post about

Suddenly Every Wednesday’s founder Jahan Genet.

1 Sept 2014 | Welcome to a New Academic Year!

Welcome Back Fellow Writers!

It is that time again: back to the classrooms, the books and, of course, the creative writing courses.

This semester there are three creative writing workshops on offer: Creative Nonfiction, Screenwriting, and Travel Writing.  Creative Nonfiction is being taught by Professor Andrea di Robilant, Screenwriting by Professor Erika Tasini, and Travel Writing by Professor Elizabeth Geoghegan.

If you are an incoming study abroad student or full-time student in the spring, there are already four creative writing workshops included in the preliminary Spring 2015 schedule: Fiction, Travel Writing, Writing the Eternal City, and Screenwriting.  Like this semester, the Introduction to Creative Writing (taught this semester by Professor George Minot) will also be offered.

With a new semester of writing comes a new body of student writing. So, look out to see what our students have to share!


Moved By Wonder Short Story Contest: Winners Announced!


Flannery O’Connor Doll by Diana Mastrodomenico, Misfit Exhibition, Moved By Wonder Conference

We are pleased to announced the winners of our recent Moved by Wonder Short Story Contest.  The Contest was a part of the Moved By Wonder Conference, held from June 13th and 14th , to honour the life and works of author Flannery O’Connor, who died at the early age of 39.

The aim of the contest was to expose student writers to the works of Flannery O’Connor by challenging them to rework, reimagine or pay homage to O’Connor’s seminal short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find”.

The first place winner’s work will be published in an e-book through the JCU Institute for Creative Writing & Literary Translation.  While the second and third place winners’ works will be posted on our blog (as desired).





We thank all participants, who took the time to share with us their creativity and to celebrate with us the life of Flannery O’Connor.

Also, thank you to everyone, who participated in the Moved By Wonder Conference, especially to Dr. William Sessions, Michael Paul Gallghr SJ, Marc Bosco SJ, Alessandro Zaccuri, Antonio Zirilli, Davide Rondoni, Jim White, Karin Coonrod, the artists of the Misfit Exhibition,  and the English Theatre Company of Rome.   It was your participation that made it the wonderful and exciting event that it was.

A special thank you to our professors, Carlos Dews, Elizabeth Geoghegan and Andrew Rutt, and to our intern Alexandra Summers,  with all of whom both conference and contest would never have happened.

Below are some more images from the two-day conference:


“Eat”, art installation by Jahan Gehet, Misfit Exhibition, Moved By Wonder Conference


Art installation by Professor Andrew Rutt, Misfit Exhibition, Moved By Wonder Conference

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30 MAY 2014| DEADLINE TODAY: Moved By Wonder Short Story Contest

Deadline: 30 May 2014

images-1MOVED BY WONDER is a John Cabot University-sponsored conference dedicated to exploring Flannery O’Connor’s vast influence on literature and the arts. Fifty years after her death, the author’s legendary style continues to reverberate in Cormac McCarthy’s fiction, Bruce Springsteen’s music, Quentin Tarantino’s films, and countless artistic projects.

With this in mind, the “Moved by Wonder Short Story Contest” challenges student writers to rework, reimagine or pay homage to O’Connor’s seminal short story “A Good Man is Hard to Find.”

  • ·1st & 2nd Prize: Winners will be invited to present a portion of their work in conjunction with the Moved by Wonder conference June 13-15, 2014.
  • ·1st, 2nd & 3rd Prize: Stories will be published on the JCU Institute for Creative Writing & Literary Translation Blog.

Contest Overview:

Students are required to use “A Good Man is Hard to Find” as a starting point for generating their own work of original short fiction. You are encouraged to use any aspect of O’Connor’s story such as a character, a line of dialogue, a single image, or any other detail that inspires you. This could include, but is not limited to, O’Connor’s trademark humor, violence, or the unexpected glimmers of good, evil, and grace portrayed in her fiction.

You may also enjoy hearing Flannery O’Connor read her story:

You can also read the story here: A Good Man Is Hard To Find“.

Submission Guidelines:

  • ·Blind/Anonymous Submissions: Stories must be titled, typed, and double-spaced. The author’s name and contact info should only appear on the COVER SHEET.
  • ·Submissions must be sent via email to storycontest@johncabot.edu with “CONTEST SUBMISSION” & your surname in the subject line. Please attach as a Word Document or PDF. Deadline is Friday, May, 30th.
  • ·Submissions may be up to 15 pages in length.
  • The contest is open to ANY enrolled undergraduate college student currently studying in the US or abroad.

Contest Judges:  George Minot, Elena Buia & Elizabeth Geoghegan

Alliance of Artists Communities: A Site You Should Know! (Part I)


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This year our Summer Institute welcomed author Tyler Dilts as its 2014 Writer in Residence.  As a writer in residence, Professor Dilts will spend the next five weeks pursuing his writing, and sharing his work and experience with both students and visitors alike.  Needless to say, the Institute is proud to have such an accomplished writer in our midst and to offer students the chance to learn from and work with him.

Over the years, we have had many other famous poets and novelists participate in the Summer Institute as writers in residence: Jhumpa Lahiri, Billy Collins, Joyce Carol Oates, Dorothy Allison, Marilyn Hacker, Simon Mawer and Mark Strand. (You may read more about them under the “The Institute” tab above.)

However, did you know that YOU can also be a writer in residence?

 Yes, indeed, there are a multitude of writing residences available to writers of all levels, from the aspiring student to the accomplished professional.  You simply need to know where to look and how to begin; this is where this series of posts will come in handy and will set you on the write path.

The place to begin:  Alliance of Artists Communities.

Upon initial reading, you might think that the Alliance is for visual artists.  This is where you would be wrong.  Instead, the Alliance focuses on supporting all artistic fields or the Arts:  visual artists, writers, dancers, musicians, filmmakers, performance artists, etc.

How does it support? By offering information on jobs, events, news, various services, and even a library.  Most importantly, however, is its database of artists communities (including writing residences). 

The database provides a detailed search for communities/residences worldwide.  Users may search across multiple disciplines and specify resources that may be required, such as online applications, accessibility,  as well as family accommodation.

Beyond providing information on where to apply, the Alliance provides tips and tools to help users in getting started in their application process.

So, why not visit the Alliance of Artists Communities’ website and see how you can participate in a writer’s residency program?


4 July 2014| Travel Writing Contest by WeSaidGoTravel.com

WeSaidGoTravel is a travel website devoted to creating global awareness through sharing written and visual travel experiences by people worldwide.  Lisa Niver Rajna and George Rajna, founders of WeSaidGoTravel.com, are inviting writers to submit entries to their Travel Writing Contest.   

The Contest’s theme is “Independence: A Place that Allows You to Feel Free.”

The contest opened on May 27, 2014 and entries are accepted until July 4, 2014 (midnight PST).  There is no entry fee and the prizes are as follows:  1st Prize – $500, 2nd Prize – $100, and 3rd Prize – $50.  

Entries can be written in any language, but must include an English translation.  Up to five entries are allowed, of which the length should be between 500-800 words, and may be accompanied by one photo.  There is no age or nationality restriction.  Anyone from anywhere can enter.  So, no excuses!  

John Cabot University Students, degree-seeking and study-abroad, this contest was seemingly made for you!  Write about your experiences of living and studying in Rome, or simply of being a part of an international community.  

Either way, share how your decision to open yourselves to a broader world has helped you to achieve a sense of independence or has been an act of freedom.  Visit the top link for more information about WeSaidGoTravel.com and the Contest.

Good Luck!  



Do You Have Writer’s Block? Author Charlie Jane Anders Has The Solution

Is there anyone who hasn’t felt the dread of facing a blank paper or computer screen?  When the thought of having to write produces a feeling akin to nausea and utter despair?  Sometimes the problem is that the ideas refuse to come.  Sometimes there are just too many ideas.  Perhaps it is simply an issue of having little interest in the subject matter, but still there is the expectation that one must write–especially true for students. 😉

In the linked article, author Charlie Jane Anders has taken the time to identify the ten main types of writer’s block.  Not only has she identified them, but she has also given measures to counter them.  Although the language of the article is geared towards fiction writers, the identified blocks are certainly applicable to anyone who has had trouble writing.  

Interested in learning more?  Simply visit the link above.


Anders’ 10 Types of Writer’s Block:

  1.  You can’t come up with an idea.
  2.  You have a ton of ideas but can’t commit to any of them, and they all peter out.
  3. You have an outline but you can’t get through this one part of it.
  4. You’re stuck in the middle and have no idea what happens next.
  5. You have a terrible feeling your story took a wrong turn a hundred pages back, and you only just hit a dead end.
  6. You’re bored with all these characters, they won’t do anything.
  7. You keep imagining all the reasons people are going to say your story sucks, and it paralyzes you.
  8. You can’t think of the right words for what you’re trying to convey in this one paragraph.
  9. You had this incredibly cool story in your head, and now you’re turning it into words on a screen and it’s suddenly dumb.
  10. You’re revising your work, and you can’t see your way past all those blocks of text you already wrote.